Manila Bulletin

In­ter­na­tional ur­ban en­vi­ron­men­tal ac­cord signed in Iloilo

- By TARA YAP

ILOILO CITY – An agree­ment that would strengthen en­vi­ron­men­tal poli­cies of heads of ma­jor ur­ban cen­ters world­wide was signed at the end of the two-day Ur­ban En­vi­ron­men­tal Ac­cord (UEA) Sum­mit held here which ended yesterday.

Ar­junn Calvo, Act­ing Chief of the Plan­ning and Pro­gram­ming di­vi­sion of the Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Nat­u­ral Re­sources (DENR)-at­tached agency, En­vi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment Bureau (EMB) in Western Visayas, said may­ors of over 50 cities from var­i­ous coun­tries over­seas signed the UEA-Iloilo City Dec­la­ra­tion that ad­dressed ma­jor ar­eas of ur­ban en­vi­ron­ment con­cerns.

These con­cerns in­cluded ur­ban air qual­ity man­age­ment, ur­ban wa­ter man­age­ment, pri­vate sec­tor en­gage­ment in ur­ban de­vel­op­ment, women and youth for com­mu­nity cli­mate ac­tion, and low car­bon emis­sion de­vel­op­ment.

The Iloilo City gov­ern­ment’s Chief En­vi­ron­men­tal Of­fi­cer, Engi­neer Noel Hechanova pre­sented dur­ing the sum­mit some best prac­tices on low car­bon de­vel­op­ment ini­tia­tives.

Such prac­tices in­clude the im­ple­men­ta­tion of ini­tia­tives by the city gov­ern­ment like the grant­ing of a 20 per­cent dis­count on real prop­erty tax of home­own­ers us­ing al­ter­na­tive energy, re­place­ment of city street lights with lower wattage light emit­ting diode (LED) light bulbs, mon­i­tor­ing of green­house gas in­ven­tory and of car­bon ac­count­ing at se­lected man­grove sites, and the launch­ing of a so­lar-pow­ered tourist boat cruis­ing on Iloilo River.

With more than 500 par­tic­i­pants, the UEA Sum­mit held in the city also be­came a venue for dis­cus­sions on dis­as­ter risk re­duc­tion with storms and earth­quakes fre­quently af­fect­ing mil­lions of the pop­u­lace in the world’s ma­jor ur­ban cen­ters.

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